5 Tips for Preparing and Submitting Your Scholarly Journal Article: Easy Ways to Increase Your Chances of Acceptance
>> by Kristen King
Successful submission to a scholarly publication starts before the writing begins. Here are 5 easy ways to get closer to acceptance from the first word.
1. Keep track of your source materials. As you start your notes for your article, keep track of every source you refer to or cite—and make sure that you cite every source you use. If it looks like you’re using information gathered by others and you don’t cite it, the validity of your own research may be questioned. Back up everything.
2. Use an outline. Particularly in the case of original research articles, which typically follow a set structure, outlining is a critical part of ensuring that all of your information is presented clearly, accurately, and in a logical order.
3. Wait until after writing is complete to prepare tables and figures. The purpose of artwork is to support and supplement the content of your article, not to repeat it. Be sure to finalize or at least firm up your article before planning supplementary materials so you can avoid duplicating efforts.
4. Find and apply the submission guidelines for your target journal. Most journals include instructions for contributors either in print or online. Find the guidelines and use them in preparing your manuscript. Adhere to structure and word count, number and type of figures and tables, and format of references.
5. Proofread your article before submitting it. This may seem obvious, but many manuscripts contain serious spelling and grammar errors that could easily have been avoided if the author(s) had run spell check and had a fresh set of eyes review the article.
Thorough research and solid content are definitely the basis for a successful submission, but clear writing and careful preparation can mean the difference between a good article and a great article -- and the best journals accept only the best articles.
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